Canada's NDP

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September 29th, 2023

NDP calls to protect public land and build more affordable homes

OTTAWA – On Thursday, NDP Public Service and Procurement Critic Gord Johns brought forward a motion to determine which government buildings could be converted into housing and to ensure that public land isn’t sold off to rich private developers, so that more Canadians have a safe and affordable place to call home.

“Canada is experiencing one of the worst housing crises we’ve ever seen. Rent is astronomically high in every city across the country, and it’s become harder for people to buy a home,” said Johns. “It’s well past time for the Liberal government to do something to lower prices and build more homes. People feel sick and tired of the Liberals' plans, which always come too late and benefit luxury condo developers.”

With the average rent in Canada hitting over $2,000 a month, people have been calling for support. But instead of acting quickly to build more affordable homes, the Liberals introduced a plan to remove the GST on new builds – something the NDP called for months ago – which fails to incentivize developers to build truly affordable homes. And Pierre Poilievre and the Conservative’s only plan is to sell off land to private investors.

Johns’ motion would call the Minister of Housing, the President of the Treasury Board and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to participate in a Parliamentary study on the Government of Canada’s real estate portfolio to build housing. Johns is hopeful that the committee will support initiatives to turn government property into non-market, social housing while also ensuring that the government doesn’t sell off public land to rich housing developers, like has happened with the Greenbelt in Ontario, under Conservative Premier Doug Ford.

“This is a first step in creating more homes that people can afford, by keeping public land in public hands,” added Johns. “Canada can’t take any more of the Liberal’s method of ignoring the issue and hoping it goes away, or the Conservative’s plan of selling everything off to luxury developers."

“We’re hoping that this study will protect public land to get people homes they can afford and more social housing while supporting Indigenous communities. We’re fighting to tackle the growing need for safe, affordable homes – and to make sure public land doesn’t fall into the hands of greedy private investors.”